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Pivotal Moment: Dubnyk Stops Skinner, Saves the Game

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The Wild played well for two periods. The second two periods, to be exact. In those two periods they outscored the Hurricanes 1-0, and made it 2-0 in OT. The first period was a completely different matter. The Wild went down 2-0 on the way to being out-shot 19-5, allowing more shots on goal in 20 minutes than they sometimes do in an entire game.

In the interim between Jason Zucker scoring the first of three straight Wild goals and Andrej Nestrasil's goal to make it 2-0, we find our pivotal moment.

In a game with seven shots on goal, you'd expect a forward to score. When a forward has a breakaway and the opponent are on their collective heels, you expect a forward to score.

Then again, you don't always expect a goalie to put the team on his back like Dubnyk did tonight in his 37-save win over the Hurricanes.

That is Carolina forward Jeff Skinner, a perfectly adequate hockey player, in alone with a goalie who has already let in two goals (albeit with neither goal necessarily being his fault). There were more spectacular saves in this game, such as this glove grab, but the above save on Skinner was important.

It represented the Wild turning the game around. Dubnyk was perfect after this save, and the Wild were able to save the game. Jason Zucker earned a goal back for the Wild with a top-shelf snipe, and the Wild ended up winning it all in OT.

If Devan Dubnyk lets this goal in, the Wild collapse. Dubnyk maybe gets pulled, allowing 3 goals on 14 shots, and the Wild head to Texas with zero standings points instead of the two they got. Sometimes pivotal moments are simple, and this is one of those times. Devan Dubnyk and his 37 saves won the game for the Wild, and this was the most important of those saves.